Akron Public Schools worried it won’t get enough COVID-19 vaccines by March deadline

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AKRON, Ohio (WJW)– Starting next week, 91,000 Ohio school employees will be eligible to start receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. But one Northeast Ohio school district said it is concerned it might not receive the number of doses it needs.

On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said all, but Jefferson Township Local Schools in Montgomery County, have agreed to resume in-person schooling by March 1. Resuming in-person instruction is a requirement for staff to have early access to the vaccine.

But Mark Williamson, spokesman for Akron Public Schools, told FOX 8 that district officials are concerned that not enough vaccine will be available for its employees to meet the March deadline.

Williamson said Akron Public Schools was notified that it will receive 780 doses of COVID-19 vaccine sometime next week. He said the district needs 3,000 for each of the two doses required. That’s 2,200 short of what the district needs.

Williamson note employees who get the vaccine must wait four weeks in between the first and second dose. School officials said they hope more doses will arrive after the first shipment.

The spokesman said the school district will still offer remote learning options for parents who are still uneasy about their children returning to in-person learning. Surveys are going out to parents now. Williamson said early, informal responses indicate that 55 percent of Akron parents would prefer keeping their children home at this point of the pandemic.

He said 85 to 90 percent of eligible school employees have expressed interest in getting the vaccine.

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